Designed and manufactured by FARO, the FaroArm measurement arm is a device which has proven to be extremely valuable to the engineering sector. It is certainly a challenge to cover all of the advantages and processes built into the FaroArm suffice to say it is well worth the investment. So, what exactly does the FaroArm measurement arm do and why is it so important?
While FARO, the parent company behind the FaroArm measurement device, is based in the US it has operations all around the world including the UK. The company is focused upon 3-D imaging and portable measurement solutions which are vital to the world of engineering. The ability to measure to minute detail the dimensions of a particular product is in itself priceless but the FaroArm measurement arm does so much more.
Founded back in 1981 the company has approaching 40 years of experience in the world of technology and detailed measurement applications. As seems to be the case with groundbreaking technology companies, the company was set-up by Simon Raab and Greg Fraser who met on their biomedical engineering PhD course at the McGill University in Montréal. After releasing their first measurement technology software in 1984 they went on to revise, rebuild and improve their offering. The ability to understand, adapt and make changes depending upon the market has proved invaluable as has the FaroArm brand name.
What does the FaroArm measurement arm offer?
As we touched on above, it is difficult to know where to start with a product and technology which has grown out of all proportion over the years. While the number of industries which could make use of FaroArm arm measurement software is endless there has been particular interest from the aerospace, automotive, metal fabrication and tool and die manufacturing sectors.
There are a number of individual products under the FaroArm brand name allowing customers to carry out an array of operations such as:-
It is all good and well creating the best computer-aided design but how do you know that the product itself perfectly matches the design? This is where the FaroArm measurement arm comes in allowing customers to measure geometric dimensions, tolerancing and a means of comparing the design against the actual product. This allows for tweaks, adjustments and on some occasions major redesigns to create the best product.
The inspection of overall products and individual parts can often be something of a nightmare which is where the FaroArm measurement arm comes in. This product can measure to near perfection using laser trackers and measuring arms to cover every nook and cranny. This is also perfect for future part inspection to ensure durability and safety throughout.
First article inspection
As we touched on above, creating a product using computer-aided design software is difficult enough but there is a need to ensure the product mirrors the actual design. Fixed and portable FaroArm measuring arms are available to quickly capture the surface dimensions of the prototype as well as geometric features. This creates a digital record on which future manufactured products will be based and a means of testing and retesting to ensure quality control.
In the past many machine part checks have required individual components to be stripped from the original product and measured separately. Sometimes this can be extremely difficult and at best extremely time consuming. Therefore, we can only guess at the relief when the FaroArm measurement arm was made available to the industry. This groundbreaking product is able to review and inspect individual parts while they are in-process and without removing them from machinery. This saves on time, expense and the fact the software can measure extremely accurately means there is no compromise on safety.
Sometimes it is not possible to manufacture all of the parts for your machinery and therefore companies are forced to depend upon third party operators. The FaroArm measurement product allows each individual part to be assessed as it enters your premises. By referring to the original design and specifications it is possible to immediately, and automatically, determine whether individual third-party products should be accepted or refused.
There will on occasion be times when files are lost or corrupted and vital data with them. Thankfully the FaroArm measurement arm offers what is known as a “reverse engineering” option which allows you to scan the surface of a particular product to create a fully functional and extremely detailed computer-aided design. This can then be used to assist with the manufacturing process.
Unless the individual components of a machine are calibrated to work simultaneously this can create significant problems and reduced efficiency. The FaroArm measuring arm is able to compare and contrast the tolerance between individual parts and highlight areas of concern. The ability to put together an accurate test with minimal setup and extremely limited expense is for many companies now an integral part of the manufacturing process.
Much like the calibration of individual components within one product the alignment of these individual components is vital to their operation. Misaligned components can lead to significant expenditure as well as extended downtime which can also impact the reputation of a company. The ability to use laser trackers within the FaroArm measuring arm will alert operators to any potential issues well before they become major problems.
Tool building and set up
While we have looked at individual components and how they work within an individual product it is the tool building and set up which is where it all begins. The FaroArm arm measurement suite of products ensures that all tool building and injection moulding components are created to exact dimensions. It is this high degree of accuracy which is required especially when individual products are manufactured in large numbers. Continually measuring the volume of injection moulds, the placement of individual tools and the impact they have on the manufacturing process is vital.
Different components for different situations
While the basic FaroArm measurement arm system and software is central to this particular suite of products there are a number of variations available:-
The FARO Edge is seen as the industry leader in mobile measurement software and comes with its own touchscreen computer for ease of use. Simple to operate, mobile and able to measure to exact dimensions, it is not hard to see why this product is extremely popular.
The FARO Prime is commonly used in measurement situations such as inspections, reverse engineering, computer aided design to part analysis as well as other situations which require high accuracy dimensional measurements. This product also has a hard probing measurement tool which is useful in many different scenarios.
The FaroArm Fusion is an all in one portable measurement arm which includes the latest software enhancements, is extreme durability and offers excellent value for money. Especially popular were computer-aided design to part analysis and reverse engineering, this all in one portable device has much to offer.
There is no doubt that FARO has created a suite of products under the FaroArm measurement arm brand which is now central to many design and manufacturing facilities. The ability to measure products both in-process and in isolation should not be underestimated nor should the time and expense savings. Ensuring that products are all manufactured to the same standard and same dimensions may sound overly pedantic but this is a vital element of the manufacturing process.
There is no point in putting hard work and money into creating a computer aided design unless you are able to create this design to the exact dimensions. The FaroArm suite of products is for many the ultimate measurement between success and failure.